Majority in Rakhine State reluctant to apply for NVCs due to paranoia, threats

Soe Min Htike and Sithu

The majority of people in Rakhine State have yet to apply for national verification cards (NVCs) just because of their paranoia about opposition from extremists, fear of death threats and demand for national scrutiny cards only, commented Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population Thein Swe.

The minister made the remark in the discussions of lawmakers over a report about findings and remarks by the Public Joint Accounts Committee in response to the findings of the Union Auditor General's  Office for 2016-2017 fiscal year during a session of the Union Parliament held in Nay Pyi Taw on August 30.

"The main reasons why the majority of people in Rakhine State have not applied for NVCs are their confusion about continued opposition by extremists, fear of death threats and demand for issuance of national scrutiny cards," said the minister.

Across Myanmar, 469,183 temporary identity cards have been handed over, and 65,408 NVCs were issued from June 1, 2015 to August 28 this year. Most applicants for the NVCs are from Rakhine State with 397,497 temporary identity cards handed over and 16,395 NVCs issued.

The process of scrutinising whether or not NVC holders should become citizens started in January 2015. Since then, national verification process, appropriate designation as a citizen and cards for having the right to become citizens have started in all the townships of Rakhine State. From June 1, 2015 to August 28, 2018, Rakhine State issued 16,395 NVCs. If those NVC holders apply to the central body for taking decision as to whether they are entitled to be citizens, the process will be carried out in accordance with the law and procedures.